In a bid to accelerate the pace of digitisation and usher in “television 2.0”, media conglomerates STAR India and Zee Network have announced the formation of a new joint venture (JV) in distribution. The new company, Media Pro Enterprise India, will begin with the distribution of 68 channels. Arun Kapoor has been named as chief executive officer, while STARDEN's Gurjeev Singh will be chief operating officer.
In a prepared statement to announce the partnership, Punit Goenka, managing director and chief executive officer, ZEEL said, “The Indian television market is growing rapidly and provides ample opportunities for the JV company to create value. The long term vision of this venture is to pool together the resources of both the partners so as to address various anomalies of the present analog market, curb piracy, and introduce transparency by accelerating the pace of digitisation in India, which will result in benefits to all the stakeholders in the value chain."
At the press meet to announce the JV, Uday Shankar, chief executive officer (CEO), STAR India, added, "The rivalry between Zee and STAR has cost the industry approximately US$10 billion. The historic divide between the two led to a lack of a common point of view within and vertically split the whole industry. This stagnated the industry's growth in business, content and technology."
The new entity is a 50:50 JV between Zee Turner and STARDEN Media Services. It will jointly aggregate and distribute channels licensed to Zee Turner and STARDEN and any other channels that will be announced in future.